Every day, about 830 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications that are entirely preventable, according to the World Health Organization. Among the top causes of maternal mortality is preeclampsia, a high-risk condition marked by high blood pressure and organ damage during pregnancy. Studies have shown that, although treatable, preeclampsia can go undetected in some pregnant women, increasing their risk of other serious health problems like heart disease down the line. Now, there’s new research that links preeclampsia to a higher risk of cardiovascular issues in the five years postpartum, that reveals a gaping hole in our postpartum care system for women with preeclampsia and could go partway to explaining the postpartum deaths of mothers with preeclampsia.
A new study from the American College of Cardiology showed that pregnant women who were diagnosed with preeclampsia were far more likely to develop diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure within five years of giving birth, compared to pregnant women without the condition, according to ScienceDaily. Researchers also discovered that the affected women had higher rates of obesity, preterm delivery, postpartum complications, and babies with low birth weights at the time of labor. These findings suggest that preeclampsia increases the risk of heart disease later in life among mothers diagnosed with the condition, according to researchers.
But what’s most alarming: The study found that, despite the heightened risk, most women who’ve had preeclampsia don’t receive the necessary medical follow-ups to help prevent cardiovascular problems after the complication, according to Malay Mail Online.
The researchers theorize that, because delivering the baby “cures” preeclampsia and the symptoms usually resolve within six weeks…